I love monkey bread, and the warm and happy family-time feeling of gathering around something and tearing it apart. But I want my holiday breakfast to have a hint of sugarplum-y whimsy- enter gingerbread. This is my attempt to marry two delicious dishes into one fantastic breakfast. I hope you like it! Oh, and I wanted to test this by doing steps 1-8 the night before, refrigerating the pan of dough, and then doing the second rise in the morning, but I ran out of time. So if you want to make this for breakfast, you could give that a try, or wake up at 5 AM- your call :) - arielleclementine —arielleclementine
Test Kitchen Notes
Not too sweet and not too spicy, this holiday breakfast reaps all the best rewards of monkey bread and gingerbread. It's fluffy and fragrant, and the crust is laquered with a brown sugar caramel. We recommend eating it warm, with salted butter and coffee. - A&M —The Editors
In a small bowl, combine yeast and a pinch of sugar with the warm water. Set aside to sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.
In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter, milk, and molasses and heat until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool briefly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with a whisk or spoon.
Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly add the molasses mixture and then the yeast mixture. After the dough comes together mix for 7 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will be sticky (it should stick to the bottom of the bowl), but if it seems too wet add up to 1/4 cup additional flour, one tablespoon at a time.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead by hand for an additional minute to form a smooth ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
Butter the bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Put the melted stick of butter in one small bowl, and the brown sugar in another.
When the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Cut dough into 64 pieces and roll the pieces into balls. One at a time, dip the balls in butter, then roll in brown sugar, and place in the bundt pan, making all attempts to distribute the balls evenly.
Cover the bundt pan with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot, and allow to rise for 1 more hour. (Or you could be a gambler and refrigerate the dough overnight, and then let it come to room temperature in the morning just before baking for breakfast). The balls should be puffy and about an inch below the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the monkey bread for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes (but no longer!). Invert onto a cake stand and cool for another 5-10 minutes. Devour!
I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).